Arkansas is on the verge of hiring Kentucky’s John Calipari as its 14th head basketball coach in program history, according to ESPN’s Pete Thamel.

Multiple reports surfaced Sunday afternoon stating there was mutual interest between the Wildcats’ head coach and the Arkansas brass. Thamel officially reported the two sides are finalizing a five-year deal Sunday evening.

As a head coach, John Calipari has been to six Final Fours, won one National Championship and is a three-time Naismith College Coach of the Year winner (1996, 2008, 2015).

During Calipari’s time in Lexington (2009-24), the Wildcats have compiled a 410-122 (.771) overall record with a 198-65 (.753) mark in SEC play. Kentucky has finished first or tied for first in the league six times, second or tied for second six times and has only dropped below fourth once (2020-21).

Calipari began his coaching career at Kansas as an assistant under Larry Brown from 1982 to 1985. He made name for himself at Memphis, where he spent 2000 to 2009 before taking over the Kentucky job.

The Arkansas basketball coaching search has had its share of twists and turns, with the latest development being one of the craziest any could imagine. Naturally, social media was buzzing with excitement.

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